Smoke billows from houses in Natori, northern Japan, after the area was hit by a powerful earthquake and a tsunami on Friday March 11, 2011. The ferocious tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded slammed Japan's eastern coast Friday, killing scores of people as it swept away boats, cars and homes while widespread fires burned out of control. (AP Photo/Mainichi Shimbun, Taichi Kaizuka)
People who would like to donate money or try to reach family members in Japan are asked to visit the Red Cross website at www.sdarc.org.
U.S. citizens can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to those affected by the disaster.
Financial donations are preferred because products are difficult to ship overseas, an American Red Cross official said.
Red Cross chapters across the U.S. western coastline and in the Pacific Islands are on alert. There have been reports of varied amounts of damage, most notably in Northern California and Oregon.